3 Apps to Help You Write a Business Plan
Join us in a city near you at Entrepreneur’s Accelerate Your Business event series kicking off Feb 23. View cities and dates »
If you have a killer idea for a startup, but lack the time, resources and budget to develop a business plan, a business plan-generating app can help you get your plan on paper and, ideally, off the ground.
A number of apps simplify the often tedious, complicated process of crafting a thorough bank- and investor-ready business plan. You provide the information, they organize it into a plan, and hopefully soon you'll be in business.
Here's a look at three apps that can help get your business plan rolling:
1. Enloop. This is an all-in-one web app that walks users through every step of creating a traditional business plan. Here's how it works: Based on the data you enter into the app, Enloop automatically generates sales, profit and loss, cash flow and balance sheet projections for you, complete with explanatory graphs and other compelling visual elements. Enloop also provides standard, yet customizable business plan text for each section of your plan, including portions focused on key company information and financial data.
Enloop's Free & Easy option includes a single custom business plan packaged in a clean, professionally formatted PDF file that you can download, print and share. More fully featured paid versions range from $9.95 a month to $39.95 a month and allow you to make multiple business plans. Enloop is only web-based and not yet available for mobile devices.
2. StratPad. Alex Glassey, who designed this iPad-only app, describes it as "a strategic-planning app that helps entrepreneurs with the thinking and decision-making process." StratPad can be a smart choice for people who are writing their first-ever business plan. It is packed with several free how-to tools for beginners, including a 58-page business strategy tutorial, view-on-demand training videos, email-based customer service, and more.
A free basic StratPad edition is available for students. Paid, one-time fee plans range from $9.99 to $54.99. The more you pay, the more advanced business plan options you get. The easy-to-use app guides users through a series of simple questions and prompts. Your answers are used to develop a summary business plan, complete with revenue projections and full-color graphs and charts.
3. Business Plan Premier. This $7.99 iPad app does double-duty for users who are eager to have their business plan backed fast. Not only does Business Plan Premier help you organize and write your business plan at an extremely detailed level, it also enables you to present your finished plan to more than 3,000 high net worth potential investors, who are also members of investment research firm Ben Stein & Accredited Members Inc.
Business Plan Premier leads you through writing your prospective company's vision and mission statements, product descriptions and marketing plans. You can also use it to complete competitive and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, outline your management scheme, identify your startup expenses, define your target market and more depending on your needs.
Your completed business plan is exported as a Microsoft Word document that you can edit, print, email or upload to Dropbox. Business Plan Lite is the free (but much less functional) version of the app.